Page last updated at 15:13 GMT, Thursday, 11 February 2010

Gove's Moroccan carpet blamed for Commons moth plague

Michal Gove and common house moth
Carpetbagger? Michael Gove has been accused of leaving the moths behind

A Labour MP has blamed a senior Conservative rival for causing a moth infestation in the House of Commons.

Graham Allen said shadow schools secretary Michael Gove had brought in a "second-hand Moroccan carpet", causing a "plague" in a corridor of offices.

"It is not true that the first moth arrived when I opened my wallet," the Nottingham North MP added, claiming the creatures had infiltrated air vents.

Mr Gove, MP for Surrey Heath, declined to comment on the allegation.

The Commons corridor shared by Mr Allen and Conservatives Henry Bellingham, Owen Paterson, Douglas Hogg and Michael Fallon has seen an infestation of moths.

Mr Allen told the BBC: "We are plagued by these things and have been for about a year now. The key suspect is Michael Gove.

"The story is that he bought a second-hand Moroccan carpet for his office and the moths came from there.

"The authorities have fumigated everywhere but they are still around in the air vents.

"They form a mist around dusk when they come out to play. The staff have to take their coats off and shake them.

"Michael has moved office but the moths haven't left."

Besides feeding on carpets, the common household moth is known to enjoy upholstery and clothing.

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